The 3-Step Startup Marketing Framework: Finding Opportunities and Delivering Value


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 11, 2023

3 min read


The 3-Step Startup Marketing Framework: Finding Opportunities and Delivering Value


In the early stages of a startup, marketing plays a crucial role in determining its success. However, there are three fundamental questions that every entrepreneur must answer: how to identify the target audience, where to find them, and how to engage them. This article explores a 3-step framework that was created to grow KISSmetrics, a tool designed to provide actionable metrics for marketers. By combining unique insights from this framework with the concept of great design, we can uncover valuable strategies for startups in any industry.

Step 1: Identifying Underused Opportunities

When building a business, making assumptions and having a vague target audience can be detrimental. To find success, entrepreneurs must identify specific opportunities where they can listen, learn, and provide value. This involves understanding what problem your product solves and who wants this problem solved. By examining emergent trends within marketing tactics, entrepreneurs can identify underused opportunities and engage with their target audience effectively.

One example of identifying an underused opportunity is Airbnb's strategy of hacking Craigslist to promote their listings. They knew their target audience was searching on Craigslist, so they leveraged this platform to reach potential customers. Similarly, Snapchat targeted the high school demographic by locating popular students in high schools, giving them the app, and incentivizing them to share it with others.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Focus on one method that works and concentrate on a single channel at a time.
  • 2. Prioritize engaging with users who genuinely want to interact with your business.
  • 3. Deliver massive doses of value without expecting immediate returns.

Step 2: Finding Your Target Audience's Hangouts

Once you have identified your target audience, it's essential to find out where they hang out. Creating a master list of potential places, establishing criteria for a solid marketing channel, and vetting this list accordingly can help you determine the most effective platforms for engaging with your audience.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Create a comprehensive list of potential places where your target audience might be present.
  • 2. Define criteria for what makes a marketing channel effective based on your specific goals.
  • 3. Carefully evaluate each potential platform on your list based on the established criteria.

Step 3: Engaging with Your Target Audience

Engagement is the key to building relationships with your target audience. By identifying your method of engagement and expanding as far as this method allows, you can confine your reach to only those individuals who are genuinely interested in your offerings. Providing a high level of value is crucial in establishing trust and credibility with your audience.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Determine the most effective method of engagement for your target audience.
  • 2. Extend your reach within the limitations of your chosen method.
  • 3. Focus on delivering a high amount of value to your audience without expecting immediate reciprocation.

Connecting Design and Marketing:

In his TED Talk, Tony Fadell emphasizes the importance of not becoming habituated to everyday things. As a product designer, he believes in looking broader, looking closer, and thinking younger to improve upon existing designs. This approach can be applied to marketing as well.

Looking broader involves taking a step back and considering the steps that lead up to a problem. By making changes to these underlying factors, entrepreneurs can create better solutions. Looking closer entails examining the minute details and questioning their importance. This process can lead to the elimination of unnecessary steps or processes. Finally, thinking younger involves embracing the fresh perspectives of young minds, as they often uncover innovative solutions to problems.


Marketing is a critical aspect of growing a startup. By following the 3-step framework of identifying underused opportunities, finding target audience hangouts, and engaging with the right users, entrepreneurs can effectively reach their desired market. Additionally, incorporating insights from design thinking, such as looking broader, looking closer, and thinking younger, can lead to innovative marketing strategies. Remember, delivering value and building relationships with your target audience should always be the focus of your marketing efforts.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)